The Wisdom of the Blogs

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Saurabh Jha writes:

My predictions for 2016:

1. ICD-10 will not have caused a third world war centered in the middle east. However, it might have persuaded some physicians to consider a third career, may be as coders. Meanwhile, ISIS changes their torture tactics from decapitation to ICD-11.

2. We will still be discussing what is quality and what is value. Meanwhile, Propublica’s surgeon scorecard will have the same fate as Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace – one is too ashamed to admit one didn’t read it.

3. Interoperability will finally be achieved by redefining interoperability. “Interoperability is when disparate electronic health records in disparate healthcare systems do not wage physical war against each other.”

John Irvine of THCB writes:

“In 2016 Donald Trump will propose a wild health reform plan combining free-market principles, the ritualistic destruction of most of Obamacare (except for the parts that quote “work okay”) with elements of the Swedish, French and Japanese systems and the deployment of “lots of attractive doctors.”

Pundits will spend most of year debating the insanity and surprising merits of the plan.”

Matthew Holt of THCB writes:

“In 2016 Health 2.0 technologies will add diagnostic tools to now mainstream virtual visits

ballsy prediction — Several big hospitals default on bonds as inpatient volume craters and they still have to pay for their EMR implementations

amusing prediction  — Epic tries to buy athenahealth, eClinicalWorks & Practice Fusion but is stopped by the DOJ”

B.S. writes:

1. ICD-10 will cause an explosion in fraudulent and abusive medical bills during a messy implementation

2. Health Catalyst will file for an IPO and IBM will preemptively buy them

3. Revenue Cycle Management companies, in the face of reimbursement changes, will attempt to morph into analytics companies.

4. One or both of the mega health plan mergers will not be approved due to market concentration concern.

5. Centene/Health Net merger will get done and Centene’s stock will hit a post split $100 by year end 2016.

6. United Healthcare will lose to Humana and Health Net for the new TriCare contract as three regions are reduced to two- UHC will lose its appeal”

Andy Oram of O’Reilly writes: 

“The 1980s have returned, and the HMO battles with them. In the 1908s, capitation was used by insurers to deny necessary care. Now, instead, patients are forced to accept high deductibles and are told to control costs — while the institutions in health care withhold the necessary information. See http://bit.ly/1Mxb5zj

Unable to wait for standards to evolve in structured patient data, health care providers and payers will turn on a massive scale to natural language processing to extract structured data from free-text patient notes.

We’ll admit that genetic research, the great hope held forth by the Precision Medicine initiative and other futurists, will not solve most health problems. The interactions among genetic markers and between the markers and the environment are too complex to predict or alter.

Institutions will hold back on sharing patient data for research purposes because anonymization removes too much useful detail and interoperability remains almost insurmountable. Instead of the promised future of big data crunching on enormous data sets, we’ll see more focused research based on medium-sized, local data sets.”

Rob Lamberts writes:

“1.  ICD-10 will create increased physician distress and ennui – This not only increases the overall workload of medical offices, but it does so while putting their cash-flow at risk.  At a time where physician dissatisfaction and frustration is high, adding more work and potentially less income is a disaster waiting to happen.  EMR products, of course will pose as the guy in the white hat ready to rescue doctors, but this will only serve to associate these record system with one more distasteful thing.

2.  With this increase in angst, doctors and patients will increasingly seek alternatives.  Patients will continue demanding access to their records and an increase in their role in their own care.  Doctors will move in increasing numbers toward alternative models of care, be they retail, concierge, or direct care.  The number of inquiries I’ve had over the past few months from physicians wanting to change over has increased sharply, and their level of interest is much higher.”

Dick Quinn of QuinnsCommentary writes:

“We will continue on the road to destruction of employer-based health benefits no matter who controls Washington, and on the road to a single-payer system. Obamacare won’t work to manage costs, the Republican alternatives to date are just silly.  Individual state solutions make no sense. So what’s left?”

Ron Hammerle of Health Resources Ltd.

“Implementation of elective, medical aid in dying in Canada (and maybe California) will begin to have an impact on end of life care, “informed consent,” medical costs, patient-empowerment and the reduction of unwanted medical care in the U.S.”

IndustryYoda writes

“Uncertainty about the outcome of the 2016 election will lead to increasing fear and gridlock as large healthcare organizations elect to play a wait and see game. GOP attacks on the Affordable Care Act will spook many. Doc morale will continue to spiral as a consequence. If the Republicans win the White House, the shit is going to seriously hit the fan …

ICD-10 will (flip a coin) either be delayed yet again in a last minute reversal by red-faced administration officials or be pushed through incompetently, causing stress and economic chaos among providers. Those who prepared will survive. Those who did not will feel extreme pain. The real winner? The consultants.

At least one ineptly-run electronic health record vendor will flame out spectacularly (note: this is not the company mentioned above), with dire consequences for customers. Citing obscure contractual language, the vendor will attempt to monetize customer data in various sleazy ways. Outrage and vows of official action will follow in Washington but no substantive action will be taken.”

Salesforce.com will Eat the World writes:

“You want predictions? Okay. Fine. Here’s my totally-insane world-changing-prediction-that-could-change everything. Salesforce will win over at least one huge healthcare name, causing a major freakout among vendors. Several will see the writing on the wall and announce plans to launch compatible services. Will it actually happen? Who knows. Not a fan of Salesforce, but I almost hope it does. ”

The University of South Carolina’s Joan Creed writes: 

“We now have retail health care.  I’ve thought for years we’ll one day have drive-thru health care: stop at the first window with your symptoms, then stop at the second window to pick up prescriptions, whether for medications, tests, whatever.”

Terry Bennett of Clinic on the Commmons writes:

“I am strongly tempted to say ” More of SOS”

There do not appear to be any trending stories about the return to the classic model, wherein an individual physician is responsible for an individual patients’ care.

Ditto any nationwide look at the impact of nonprofit hospitals becoming for profit gigantic Taj Majals, dominating both the jobs market and the real estate market in their communities, and the redundant duplicating/reduplicating of the servicers and technologies offered at the just-down-the -road former community”not for profit hospital”

Add to that the “90 day contract”that most young docs are forced to sign upon landing a job at one of these centers, wherein the doctor may be fired without recourse and without any stated cause. This widespread ” hear no, see no, speak no evil policy does very little for constructive criticism/two way discourse as to the best way forward.

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2 replies »

  1. Re “Several big hospitals default on bonds as inpatient volume craters and they still have to pay for their EMR implementations”

    How about specifics. Which ones, and which EHRs?